TUC reaction to pre-Budget report

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date: 10 December 2003

embargo: For immediate release

Attention: education, economic, industrial and political correspondents

Commenting on the publication of today’s pre-Budget report, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'This is rightly an upbeat report on an economy doing better than its competitors. The UK economy is set to deliver the Government’s generous public spending commitments with no need for tax hikes.

'There is much to welcome in the detail. We are particularly pleased to see the increase in help with childcare costs, and the big boost in investment in skills. This is a real agenda for the workplace.

'Our one concern is that the Chancellor seems to be saying that public sector bodies will be expected to use the new lower inflation measure, whilst everyone else will be using the established price index. If this is going to be used to hold down wages, it will send alarm bells ringing throughout the public sector. We will be seeking further discussions with the Chancellor on this as soon as possible.'

Notes to Editors:

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access

pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

Contacts:

Media enquiries: Liz Chinchen 020 7467 1248 or 07699 744115 (pager) or email media@tuc.org.uk

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